Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Reason: “Limitations are necessary in a democratic society for the protection of others. We in our legal system make use of such limitations, as compared to the United States,” said Brandstetter. “For us, hate speech is misusing freedom of speech, and therefore shouldn’t be permitted.”
Notre Dame Australia: The importance of the right to religious liberty and the level of protection provided to the right in the United Kingdom and European Union was the focus of a recent public lecture by London based barrister Professor Mark Hill QC at The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Sydney Campus on Thursday 15 January 2015.
New York Times: “A packed hearing on a petition calling for the protection of human embryos led to a rare outbreak of raucous exchanges in the European Parliament on Thursday — a sign that the battles over abortion and stem cell research that divide nations like Spain and the United States are making a serious incursion into European Union affairs.”
The Council of Europe amends resolution on the protection of minors against “new religious movements”
The Economist: “At stake was a resolution which in its original form would have denounced ‘new religious movements’ (to use an alternative, and less loaded description of the groups sometimes described as ‘sects’) and urged European governments to monitor such bodies and restrict their influence on youngsters.”
Catholic Voices Comment: “Baroness Hale, one of the UK’s most senior judges, and the first woman appointed to the highest court in the land, recently set out in a speech to Yale Law School criteria for accommodating religious beliefs when these appear to clash with the rights of particular groups in society. In the light of same-sex marriage becoming law, and the demands of groups for the ‘eradication’ of views unsympathetic to theirs, the speech is timely and could be the start of a long-overdue restoration of the law’s balancing act on discrimination and religious freedom.”
EurActiv: “This highlighted ‘the need to redirect aid to civil society and other organizations that fight against exclusion and discrimination based on sexual preference,’ he continued. ‘Appropriate measures should be taken against countries who continue to criminalise homosexuality or pass even more repressive laws. LGBT rights are human rights!’”
Bruce Frohnen at The Imaginative Conservative: “What is most worrisome about this latest development is the breezy manner in which it is deemed a run-of-the-mill regulatory change. Apparently, all the Danish government did was eliminate a special dispensation from European Union rules that would ban Jewish and Muslim practices throughout Europe. To be clear: the European Union, a semi-sovereign government for most of Europe, specifically makes kosher and halal slaughter illegal, but allows member countries (like Denmark) to provide a special “dispensation” for religious reasons, if it so chooses. Denmark no longer so chooses—as is becoming more the case in more countries, regarding more religious issues.”
Law & Religion UK: “The Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has produced a report on The protection of minors against excesses of sects. . . . The problem with the draft Resolution is that nowhere in the document is the word ‘sect’ defined, presumably on the basis that you’ll just recognise one when you see it; and that absence cannot go unremarked.”
Wall Street Journal: “Women who become mothers through surrogacy don’t have an automatic right to maternity leave under European Union law, the bloc’s top court said Tuesday, but added that governments could put in place more generous arrangements.”
McCrea, Ronan, European Law and the Prohibition of the Veil (March 4, 2011). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2404426
Washington Post: “In the first meeting of its kind, members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom met with the European Parliament’s working group on freedom of religion or belief to explore opportunities for trans-Atlantic and international cooperation.”
AP: “An EU report says corruption affects all 28 member countries of the European Union and costs their economies around 120 billion euros ($162.19 billion) a year.”
Perrone, Roberto, Public Morals and the ECHR (January 20, 2014). University of Leicester School of Law Research Paper No. 14-02. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2382086
Washington Times: “But in a debate being closely watched by U.S. doctors and health care officials, governments across the European Union appear to be backing away from outright legal bans in the face of powerful opposition from medical supporters of the practice and faith leaders who say religiously observant parents should have the right to have their sons circumcised without social objection.”
Christian Concern: “During a recent debate at the plenary session of the European Parliament, the European Commission confirmed that the EU has no competence in the areas of abortion and sex education, and that it cannot interfere with the policies adopted by Member States on these issues.”
EuroNews: “Most of the European Parliament’s political groups are demanding the Spanish government abandon plans for more-restrictive abortion laws. However, Parliament’s centre-right European People’s Party says this should be a decision made by Spain’s national government.”
Ria Novosti: “Russia has mounted a diplomatic offensive against ‘gay propaganda,’ accusing the EU in a new report of trying to promote an ‘alien view of homosexuality and same-sex marriages as a norm of life.’”
Turtle Bay and Beyond: Only four weeks after the notorious Estrela-Report’s spectacular defeat in the European Parliament’s plenary session of 10 December, the EU’s abortionist-homosexualist lobby launches a new attempt to get at least some form of approval for its sinister agenda from the European Parliament. This time they seek to instrumentalize the European Commission to provide the occasion for a surprise attack.
LifeSiteNews: With Ireland having passed its law allowing abortion, without gestational age limits, in cases where a woman threatens suicide, the tiny island nation of Malta has become the European Union’s last man standing against abortion.
Milena Faustova at Voice of Russia: The Christian civilization is in great danger. Today about 100 million followers of the teachings of Jesus Christ are being persecuted. People are suffering or sometimes even dying for their faith not only in the countries of the Middle East, Northern and Southern Africa but also in South East Asia – regions that are essentially non-Christian. The believers in Europe and America, i.e. residents of the states where the adoption of Christianity in the past determined their development and formation, increasingly often face anti-religious prosecution.
AP: Less than two weeks after Croatians voted to ban gay marriage, their government has proposed granting same-sex couples new legal rights.
LifeNews: For the second time in two months, the European Parliament rejected a report that recommended that EU nations declare abortion to be a human right and to make abortion available within all public health systems of member countries. Adoption of the report would have placed more pressure on pro-life nations like Ireland, Poland and Malta to legalize abortion on demand.
Federation of Catholic Families Association in Europe (FAFCE): Today, Tuesday 10 December, the European Parliament rejected the highly controversial Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights presented by Portugese MEP Edite Estrela.
European Humanist Federation: “Sexual and Reproductive Rights are Human Rights ! Support the Estrela Report”
European Humanist Federation: Civil society and human rights organisations call on you to support the amended Estrela Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in the plenary vote on Tuesday.
PressTV: Britain could sue the European Union for overstepping its legal powers, the government’s chief legal adviser has warned.
DEVEX: These flagships will focus on cross-cutting challenges in international development – the creation of green jobs, migrant workers’ rights or the intersection of animal and human health, for instance. The goal is to avoid a silo mentality and instead pursue holistic solutions through cross-sector partnerships especially with large multilateral partners.
C-FAM: A European committee is fast-tracking a controversial report on “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” onto the European Parliament’s agenda after parliamentarians dismissed it a few weeks ago under a shower of boos from proponents of the report
Turtle Bay and Beyond: While the European Citizens’ Initiative “One of Us“ has now crossed the threshold of 1.5 million signatures (and further signatures keep pouring in), the European Commission has now published a new “call for proposals” for projects related to “sexual and reproductive health”, announcing that 28 million Euro (roughly 38 million US$) have been earmarked for such projects.
Robert Oscar Lopez at Public Discourse: Underground movements in England and France are beginning to counter the global LGBT ideology that has entrenched itself in the governments of First-World nations.
LifeSiteNews: A group of thirty-four Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), have written a strongly worded letter to the British government calling for a halt to the creation of so-called “three-parent” embryos in IVF labs.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: Instead, the single issue of what he and his political masters in Brussels believe to be a “human rights policy” is the promotion of sexual immorality under the guise of concepts such as “diversity”, tolerance”, or “fighting against homophobia”.
LifeNews: The European Parliament today rejected a report that recommended that EU nations declare abortion to be a human right and to make abortion available within all public health systems of member countries. Adoption of the report would have placed more pressure on pro-life nations like Ireland, Poland and Malta to legalize abortion on demand.
WorldNetDaily: Experts agree. “The European Union has absolutely no legal competency to legislate on the issue of abortion,” senior European counsel Roger Kiska with the Alliance Defending Freedom, or ADF, told WND. “The European Parliament’s proposed resolution is an affront to national sovereignty, a breach of their duty to the citizens of the European Union and worst of all an unsolicited attack on innocent human life,” Kiska added.
EU: While 1.3 Million Sign The Pro-life Petition, Radical Pro-abortion-politicians Don’t Want To Learn The Lesson.
J.C. von Krempach at Turtle Bay and Beyond: These days there is a lot of excitement in the European Parliament about a so-called “Own-Initiative Report” originating from the Parliament’s “Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality“, and drafted by the Portuguese radical left MEP Edite Estrela. The report, which is likely to be voted in the EP Plenary on 22 October, deals with so-called “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights”. Or rather, it seeks to promote a completely distorted understanding of those issues
LifeSiteNews: An Italian commentator is adding to the alarms being sounded in Europe over the threat of a European Union Report on “sexual health and reproductive rights.” The draft document, which is scheduled for a vote October 21st and 22nd, proposes to mandate the “re-education” of doctors and medical students to promote abortion and contraception.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: There are still more than two weeks to go, but the European Citizens’ Initiative “One of Us” has already collected 1.3 million signatures, which places it comfortably above the 1-million-signatures threshold that decides on success or failure of such petitions.
CNSNews: The controversial draft report, which is being promoted by socialist members of the European Parliament (MEPs), was passed last month by the legislature’s committee on women’s rights and gender equality.
LifeSiteNews: The European Parliament approved a report–Gendercide: the missing women?–that condemns practices that destroy the lives of women and girls, including sex selection abortion and infanticide.
Volokh Conspiracy: The Council of Europe in Strasbourg has recommended nations consider banning child circumcision. Jewish groups, and the State of Israel, are predictably outraged by the recommendation, which if adopted would make traditional (and not just religious) Jewish life impossible on the Continent. Thus the law has been denounced as anti-Semitic.
AP: In a non-binding resolution this week, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said circumcision was “a violation of the physical integrity of children.”
Jewish Press: The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, an international organization whose resolutions are non-binding but heavily influence the European Unions, is voting Tuesday on defining ritual circumcision as a “clear human rights violation.”
Turtle Bay and Beyond: European Dignity Watch has an interesting report on a recent meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE), in which a lobby group called the “European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR)” was given a 45-minitues slot to present a policy proposal that is called the Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance.
Catholic News Agency: During their first meeting in Strasbourg, France, held Sept. 12-14, the legal advisors to the European Bishops’ Conference warned of an increase in legal restrictions against religious freedom.
Christian Concern: This week, the pan-European ‘One of Us’ initiative secured its one millionth signature, with the prospect of a total ban on controversial EU funding for Human Embryo research moving a step closer as a result.
AP: In a setback for Western efforts to tighten sanctions against Iran, a top European Union court on Friday threw out penalties imposed on several Iranian businesses for their alleged ties to the country’s disputed nuclear program.
World Magazine: In conjunction with the massacre, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video announcing the group will target the United States, France, and other countries who do not abide by the teachings of the Quran.
LifeNews: Europe’s most audacious effort to protect life is a few thousand signatures away from forcing the European Parliament to schedule a debate on protecting every human life from conception.
The Atlantic: So why are Europe’s abortion laws not as libertine and laissez-faire as our stereotypes about those countries might suggest? Here’s one way of looking at the difference between abortion laws in Europe and those in the U.S.: in America, abortion laws are about morality, while in Europe, they reflect national ideas of what constitutes the common good.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: The European Ombudsman has last week published his conclusions regarding the hosting of a controversial photo-exhibitionpromoting same-sex “marriages”, gay adoption, and similar at the premises of the European Commission in Brussels, with Commission vice-president Viviane Reding having granted her patronage to the event.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: On July 17th 2013, I published a study on “Abortion and the European Convention on Human Rights”, in the Irish Journal of Legal Studies (available on line here). The purpose of this study is to present in an objective, complete and coherent manner the status of abortion under the European Convention on Human Rights.
C-FAM: Homosexual groups were dealt a humiliating blow at the end of last month by the world’s largest regional security organization. The Organization for Security and Cooperation of Europe (OSCE) shot down a resolution recognizing a controversial declaration on homosexuality by a vote of 24 to 3. Even countries that are usually friendly to homosexual groups deserted them.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: On July 3rd 2013, during its 1175th meeting, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe officially admitted that it is incapable of answering the two following questions: Can the Committee of Ministers confirm that the Council of Europe is not committed to a policy of promoting access to abortion? Can the Committee of Ministers, to the extent that it comprises representatives of the States Parties to the European Convention of Human Rights and the European Social Charter, confirm that it was never the intention of the authors of these instruments to establish a convention-based right to abortion?
Catholic Culture: The Conference of European Churches (CEC) has announced plans to move its main offices from their current location in Geneva to Brussels, to be close to the offices of the European Union.
Irish Bureaucrat Thinks That Pro-life Event Is “too Controversial” To Be Hosted At European Parliament
Turtle Bay and Beyond: In the case at hand, an Irish EU Official working at the European Parliament turned down the request of an Austrian pro-life youth group to promote the right to life and the European Citizen’s Initiative “One of Us”, which seeks to promote the protection of the most fundamental of all human rights, the right to l life. Jim Higgins, MEP from the Irish “Fine Gael” Party, is unwilling/unable to explain why the right to life is “controversial”.
LifeSiteNews: “I think clearly we can see that the economic crisis which we are observing in the western world is a direct consequence of 1968, of the rejection of Humanae Vitae (the encylical that reiterated the Catholic teaching against contraception), of the rejection of the Church’s teaching, and the approval of the sexual revolution, which has caused a demographic crash.”
C-FAM: European lawmakers are facing a dilemma following a survey on discrimination and violence against homosexuals in Europe. It is being touted as the “largest and most comprehensive study ever carried out” on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Nearly 93,000 responses purportedly came from individuals that identified as LGBT. Experts say the survey not only has significant methodological flaws but also does not show a problem of any magnitude.
Paul Coleman at Speak Up Movement Church (7/5): Religious Liberty is in peril worldwide. This blog post, the first in a series of commentaries, illustrates the increasing marginalization of Christianity in Europe. The remaining commentaries will be published over the course of the next few weeks.
Catholic Culture (7/3): Paul Coleman has published an outstanding yet fairly brief review of legal discrimination against European Christians in the June/July issue of First Things. This is a somewhat unhappy announcement because, for a certain period of time, you have to be a subscriber to read it on their website (www.firstthings.com). But you might want to check back in a couple of months, as older articles are more widely available . . . The title of his highly-useful article is “European Faith Made Private”.
AP: French far-right leader Marine Le Pen was stripped of her European Parliament immunity Tuesday and may now face charges of racism over comments she made comparing Muslim street prayers to an occupation of French territory.
The Catholic Spirit: Churches in Europe have welcomed pledges by the European Union to make financial help for countries around the world conditional on their protection of religious freedom. The Brussels-based Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community, COMECE, said June 25 that action was needed “given the systematic and increasing violations of freedom of religion by some governments and non-state actors.”
Wendy Wright at C-FAM: Christians in Europe face arrests, fines, vandalism, and professional penalties due to a growing trend of social intolerance and government restrictions, according to a new report. The report ties the discrimination to a wave of new laws that selectively affect Christians
Council Of Europe: Resolution On Non-discrimination On The Grounds Of Sexual Orientation And On Russian Laws To Be Discussed On June 27.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: On June 27th, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE Strasbourg) will discuss a draft resolution and recommendation entitled “Tackling discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity” (Doc. 13223) submitted by the socialist Norwegian deputy Håkon Haugli. This document is primarily intended to reinforce the prevention and repression of social hostility towards homosexuality (homophobia) in order to change mentalities, policies and legislation.
Washington Post: The recent decline in births across Portugal — to 89,841 babies in 2012, a 14 percent drop since 2008 — has been so acute that the national government is moving to close a slew of maternity wards nationwide. In an increasingly childless country, 239 schools are shutting down this year and sales of products such as baby diapers and children’s shampoos are plummeting.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: The doorbell rings. You open the door. Outside stand two men in uniform. “Good afternoon. We come from the local sex ed department. It seems that you have two minor children aged five and three living in this household. We have been sent to administer them the compulsory gender-sensitive sexuality education foreseen by the law. May we come in?”
Turtle Bay and Beyond: The number of European countries standing up against the EU’s activities in sponsoring moral corruption increases. The latest example is Bulgaria, where the authorities of the city of Sofia, following massive protests from the population, have decided to cancel a so-called “Gay Pride” event, in which homosexuals exhibit “pride” about what normal people would feel ashamed for.
Reuters: Turkey warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday not to play politics with its European Union ambitions as Berlin blocked moves to open a new chapter in Ankara’s EU membership talks next week.
IslandPacket.com: Germany has blocked the next step in the European Union’s membership talks with Turkey over Ankara’s crackdown on anti-government protests, a diplomat from an EU nation said Thursday.
New York Times: It therefore came as a rude surprise when, late last year, the National Bank of Slovakia announced that the European Commission, the union’s executive arm, had ordered it to remove halos and crosses from special commemorative euro coins due to be minted this summer . . . “There is a general suspicion of anything religious, a view that faith should be kept out of the public sphere,” said Gudrun Kugler, director of the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians, a Vienna-based research and lobbying group. “There is a very strong current of radical secularism,” she said, adding that this affects all religions but is particularly strong against Christianity because of a view that “Christianity dominated unfairly for centuries” and needs to be put in its place.
The Washington Blade: The White House on Monday announced that President Obama has nominated Daniel Baer to become the next ambassador of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE.)
AP: A senior European Union official on Friday criticized the Turkish police’s harsh crackdown on protesters in the last week, telling an audience that included the prime minister that a “swift and transparent” investigation was needed.
EU: Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton on the bill in 3igeria criminalising same-sex marriage and relationships
European Union: The EU seeks neither to promote nor discourage same sex marriages, but has been clear it opposes discrimination or any form of legislation that seeks to persecute someone on the basis of sexual orientation.
LifeSiteNews: The recently appointed archbishop of Vilnius, Gintaras Grušas told the country’s parliament to beware of laws imposed by the European Union that act as a “Trojan Horse” to undermine the hard-won Lithuanian independence and the family by pushing “gender” ideologies.
Catholic Culture: “In Europe, we have identified 14 laws that are likely to negatively affect the religious liberty of Christians in 15 countries,” said Massimo Introvigne, coordinator of the Observatory on Religious Liberty of the Italian foreign affairs ministry. “Fortunately, Italy is not among them. In 2012, we also reported 169 rulings made in European courts that we judged to be dangerous to the freedom of Christians.” “
Christian Concern: The Grand Chamber of the Council of Europe has rejected a request for referral from three UK Christians, prompting serious concerns over legal protections for Christians in Britain.